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Making Contact’s dialogue on Women, Media and Community Activism
Mar15

Making Contact’s dialogue on Women, Media and Community Activism

Join us for a live recording session in San Francisco! On March 16th The Making Contact team is happy be partnering with the California Institute for Integral Studies for an evening of important discussion and public journalism. Race, police violence and criminal justice reform have been at the top of headlines nationwide with no signs of slowing as we move into the election season. Join us for a dialogue with two inspiring community organizers and media makers on the front lines, pushing for systematic change and providing accurate media portrayals of the activists, their struggles and their motivations. Cat Brooks of San Francisco’s Anti Police-Terror Project and Manolia Charlotin of The Media Consortium and who is working on our Making Contact’s special Immigration and Elections miniseries, will participate in a discussion on Black Lives Matter, community journalism social justice activism. Our Executive Director Lisa Rudman, will MC and we will be recording this discussion for broadcast on the air and on our website. March 16, 2016 7:00 pm California Institute of Integral Studies 1453 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94103 Buy tickets Cat Brooks is an artivist and mother who’s spent her life working on many social justice issues. In 2009, Cat joined the fight for Oscar Grant and was instrumental in developing organizing and communications strategies and leading multiple demonstrations. In 2013, Cat co-founded the Anti Police-Terror Project whose mission is to eradicate police terror in communities of color. Manolia Charlotin is a multimedia journalist, strategist and the Director of Special Projects at The Media Consortium where she manages editorial collaborations among member outlets, spearheads #TMCinColor and curates independent media coverage of the movement for Black lives. Lisa Rudman is the Executive Director of Making Contact. She brings over 20 years of experience in production and management in community radio and public television. She serves on the coordinating committee of The Media Consortium and believes in “practicing journalism for...

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Making Contact team wins SPJ Excellence in Journalism Award!
Oct29

Making Contact team wins SPJ Excellence in Journalism Award!

Every year the Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism Awards recognize the best stories and most innovative projects from media outlets around the country. These awards are where some of the most celebrated names in journalism recognize the crucial, enlightening work being done by their peers. We’re excited to announce that a team from Making Contact has won a Feature Storytelling award from the SPJ Northern California Chapter for Deadly Divide, the enlightening, somber show on Migrant Deaths along the US/Mexico border.   CONGRATULATIONS Jasmin Lopez, George Lavender, Brandon Thibodeaux and Mitra Kaboli for their hard work! We think this radio documentary is a perfect example of Making Contact’s brand of sound rich, nuanced storytelling and coverage of underreported issues. Talented and determined Making Contact producer Jasmin Mara Lopez led this project and worked for six months researching, traveling and editing Deadly Divide amidst her contributions to other weekly Making Contact episodes. In August of 2014, Jasmin and photojournalist Brandon Thibodeaux journeyed to the desert ranch lands of Brooks County, Texas to introduce us to the human cost of U.S.border enforcement strategies. Jasmin’s radio documentary is accompanied by a moving set of images taken by Brandon, who has spent the last few years documenting life on both sides of the border. While reporting, Jasmin  got a taste of the intense heat and lack of landmarks in the harsh desert, only some of the challenges faced by people like Elias, a Honduran migrant and central voice who listeners get to know as he flees poverty and violence. Over 6,000 migrant deaths were recorded on the U.S. side of the border with Mexico between 1998 and 2013. The true number of deaths is likely higher, and thousands of families never hear from their loved ones again. Listeners follow a team as they collect the bodies of those who crossed the desert border, hear from a forensic scientist piecing together information about the lives of the deceased from piecing together their bones, and become inspired by Eduardo Canlaes, Director of the South Texas Human Rights Center as he delivers water to life-line spots that dot the parched landscape as he tries to spare the lives of those crossing. Making Contact producer George Lavender advised on script sequencing and provided script edits. Making Contact’s supporters chipped in donations for travel expenses. Jasmin engaged musician Diana Gameros for scoring, Juaquin Neault for voice overs, Sheerry Seegers for transcription and interwove poetry by MamaCoAtl Chantiko.   Listen to the show and watch the photo slideshow here....

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Meet our immigration and elections reporters -Valeria Fernandez and Marco Vera
Sep22

Meet our immigration and elections reporters -Valeria Fernandez and Marco Vera

We’re moving full steam ahead with our Immigration and Elections project and now’s the time to join in. Your contributions help us hire all these special reporters. Meet the first two journalists: Welcome Valeria Fernandez and Marco Vera! Both journalists are experienced multi-platform media makers with deep roots in immigrant communities. They each bring a wealth of knowledge and energy to this project. We’re already impressed with the ideas they’ve pitched. Scroll down to learn more about our newest team members and donate today to fund our important community reporting. Valeria Fernández Valeria Fernández is an award winning bilingual (English-Spanish) documentary producer, journalist and storyteller. She’s been reporting on Arizona’s immigrant community and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands for over twelve years, casting a spotlight on racial profiling, human rights issues and discrimination against migrant women in jail. As a versatile freelancer Fernández has reported from Guatemala, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay and Italy. She covered immigrant communities during the 2012 elections, unaccompanied immigrant children, allegations of Border Patrol abuse, migrant kidnappings by drug cartels and the rise of the immigrant rights movement over a decade. Her work has been published in The Associated Press Spanish, Phoenix New Times, Salon, the Washington Post, New America Media and Al Jazeera Web. She is a contributor for Radio Bilingüe, PRI’s The World, CNN Spanish and Al Jazeera English. An accomplished filmmaker and director, her documentary “Two Americans” aired on Al Jazeera America in 2013 and won the audience award at the Arizona International Film Festival in 2012. She also co-directed, shot, produced and edited six-short films as part of the international web documentary “Connected Walls” on the life of people in the Arizona borderlands. The documentary won the Jury Award at the prestigious Belgian Millennium International Film Festival. Marco Vera He’s the founder and director of Mexicali Rose Media/Arts Center, a grassroots communitarian organization dedicated to providing free access to artistic media for the community youth of Mexicali, Baja California. As a cultural promoter with Mexicali Rose, he has held a series of important cultural exchanges, most recently culminating in cities such as New York, Berlin, Munich, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. As a filmmaker, Vera has obtained grants and made documentaries in Guatemala, USA and Mexico and taught documentary and experimental film workshops with youth in “high risk” or “conflictive” communities. Vera is also the founder and Director of Radio Pájaro Hombre, an internet radio space which provides a platform for freedom of expression 24 hours a day, promoting local themes and boosting new radio talent in the border community. You can help make this work possible. Pledge $20 to pay for...

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Let’s talk about immigration and elections
Sep14

Let’s talk about immigration and elections

Immigrants and Elections a special miniseries Part 1   From Dreamers in Arizona to Muslims in Michigan: Immigrant Communities Upholding Democracy From Dreamers in Arizona to Muslims in Michigan, we’ll meet immigrant communities upholding democracy. We’ll also have a conversation with the Brennan Center for Justice President and author of the Fight to Vote, Michael Waldman about how immigrants throughout history have expanded the right to vote. Part 2    Barriers to the Ballot In 2013 the Supreme Court struck down a key civil rights provision of the Voting Rights Act. This November will be the first presidential election in 50 years where voters will not have the full protection of the original law. Listen as we explore some of the barriers immigrants and other historically disenfranchised voters face in gaining access to the polls. You’ll hear from  Mexican and Filipino families Arizona, such as Florita & Joseph Campbell pictured here.  And immigrant parents of school-age kids in San Francisco seeking a way to vote for school board reps. Below is  from our Crowdfunding Campaign. Thank you to all who contributed!  If you appreciate what we are doing, it’s never to late to join in with support. —————————————————————— Making Contact is bringing together a team of  radio journalists who are immigrants or deeply rooted in immigrant communities. The’ll  explore how immigrants are responding and participating in the 2016 election. We’re a small, independent, Oakland based radio show that’s knows the power of communities speaking for themselves. We’ve been creating diverse, change inspiring radio for the last 20 years and our work has a big impact – our weekly shows are heard on more than 100 community and NPR radio stations, and thousands more tune-in online. With your support, we’ll hire journalists working in immigrant communities around the country to cover the electoral season. We already have some questions we want answered, including: Why do so few immigrants run for elected office in the U.S.? What could change that? What impact will new voter ID laws have on turnout in immigrant communities? What factors contribute to disparities in electoral participation in different immigrant communities? What structures and grassroots groups are forming outside of the political system to ensure immigrants in the U.S. are better represented? By backing this project you’ll help us answer these questions. And we’ll look for suggestions from you, for stories you want covered as well. We’ll create nine in-depth radio feature pieces to be distributed online and on radio stations all over the country. And we’ll be blogging and posting updates along the way to keep you informed. This is one of our most ambitious miniseries ever. And with a...

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Help our fellows tell real stories and diversify the media!
Jun08

Help our fellows tell real stories and diversify the media!

In 2014 we created our Community Storytelling Fellowship because media needs to be MORE diverse, MORE relevant and BETTER REFLECT THE COMMUNITIES THEY COVER. Over the course of a year our team worked with 3 vibrant, committed based storytellers. During their 10-week paid immersion in audio storytelling, each fellow turned their personal experiences into 8 minute radio segments-intense, moving stories you won’t hear anywhere else.   We recently announced our 2nd class of fellows and have some big plans ahead for this year’s cohort, including the addition of a 4th fellowship position! We’ve already hit the ground running! We’ve been working with our 1st fellow Al Sasser whose 31 years in prison will inform his reporting on reentry and prison support networks. Next up,  Ivan Rodriguez will explore the environmental racism plaguing the Los Angeles neighborhood where he grew up. Our amazing fellow Alice Wong will explore the power dynamics between disabled people and their caregivers. While award winning writer Ingrid Rojas Contreras will focus on assimilation  and culture by detailing her personal experiences reclaiming her family’s myths and historical narratives. Now we’re excited to announce our 1st major crowdfunding campaign to help us pay this year’s class of inspiring storytellers! Help us raise $3000 by July 8th! Why is this important? As ongoing conversations about lack of diversity demonstrate, most media outlets haven’t prioritized coverage and opinions from marginalized communities.  And radio is no exception. In 2012, NPR reported that the overwhelming majority of its radio audience was white –roughly 87 percent. According to a survey by the Radio Television Digital News Association and Hofstra University only 7 percent of people working in radio newsrooms identify as people of color. 7 PERCENT!! In a lecture on the lack of diversity in radio, Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika of Clemson University challenged radio producers “how will you use new tools to make space for different voices in your stories?” Making Contact has been making space for diverse voices in radio since 1994 and this fellowship is our latest innovation. We’re harnessing the power of our supporters and new technology to analyse critical issues and inspire community action. While so many in the media community talk about diversity in coverage and new models for community participation, Making Contact is building those new models, based off of our 20 year history. Our communities are full of people with powerful stories and we gain valuable insights when someone directly affected by an issue is able to share their experience directly. Our fellows are all talented and dedicated activists, artists and organizers. Together we’ll create stories that humanize and add historical context to important national issues, shed light on inequalities...

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Announcing Making Contact’s 2015-16 Community Storytelling Fellows
Jun02

Announcing Making Contact’s 2015-16 Community Storytelling Fellows

In keeping with our mission of covering important issues and helping community media makers tell their stories, Making Contact is pleased to announce our 2nd class of Community Storytelling Fellows! Welcome Al Sasser, Alice Wong, Ivan Rodriguez and Ingrid Rojas Contreras! The fellows will work with us through early 2016 and will each produce an 8 minute radio segment in addition to blog posts and online content. This is a paid, 10 week experiment in collaborative media making. Each fellow brings their individual expertise and lived experience and we provide training in studio tools, audio production and social media. The Making Contact team was impressed by the thoughtfulness and passion displayed by our pool of applicants and felt that each of the fellows not only presented an intriguing story idea, but also their lived experience and impressive levels of understanding of the social, cultural and political underpinnings of their issues. June 8th we’re launching a crowdfunding campaign for this year’s class of fellows. Click here to find out how you can help. More on our 2015 cohort Our fellows illustrate the dynamic layers of communities in California, particularly those that are under represented in the dominant narratives of our society. Read more about our 2015 class. Click for Ingrid's bio Ingrid Rojas Contreras is the 2014 recipient of the Mary Tanenbaum Literary Award in Nonfiction, a 2015 fellow at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto and in residence in Cassis, France, as part of the Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Fellowship. Her writing is forthcoming or has been anthologized in Guernica Annual, Wise Latinas and American Odysseys: Writings by New Americans and she is working on a nonfiction book about her grandfather, a medicine man who it is said could move clouds. Her Making Contact segment will focus on the stories and traditions that immigrants hold onto as they embrace a new country. Click for Al's bio Sentenced to 15 years to life at the age of 19, Al Sasser served 31 years I prison before being released in September 2013.  Education became his springboard toward change, as well as a mutual support system developed among a group of 50 men at the California State prison in Solano, CA. As one of Making Contact’s community Storytelling Fellows, Al will tell the story of how these men transformed themselves and the greater culture inside the prison walls, and have maintained a system of peer support on the outside. Click for Ivan's bio Ivan Rodriguez was born and raised in Los Angeles to immigrant parents from Mexico. When he was young, a mentor told him he had the responsibility to speak for those who...

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Making Contact’s Violence Against Women of Color Live Chat
May21

Making Contact’s Violence Against Women of Color Live Chat

“This hierarchy of human life where if you are a woman of color and you’re impoverished, you’re at the very bottom and your life is seen as not worth anything.” –Margaret Prescod Join us on May 21st at 3pm PST as we discuss domestic, healthcare and police violence against women of color. This conversation continues our ongoing coverage on the cultural and structural dimensions of how violence against women and is being produced in solidarity with the National Day of Action to End State Violence Against Black Women and Girls. Follow the conversation on this page at 3pm and add your voice using the #vawchat hashtag. Black women experience intimate partner violence at rates 35 percent higher than white women. In Mexico an indigenous woman is 3 times more likely to die in child birth than a non indigenous woman. In the United States 3 women are murdered every day due to male domestic violence. End Violence Against Women of Color More information: Her Resilience Kimberly Robertson’s obituary Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders Sojourner Truth Radio HBO Tales of the Grim Sleeper LA Weekly, Grim Sleeper Returns: He’s Murdering Angelenos, As Cops Hunt His DNA The Grim Sleeper timeline Nick Broomfield Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer, A.C. Accountability in Maternal and Reproductive Health: Experiences from Civil Society from India, Mexico, and Nigeria Femicide in Mexico: Mapping of Silence Archival Footage: AP, New Sketches of California Serial Killer, December 18, 2009 ABC News, Grim Sleepers Mysterious...

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Follow #Blackspring social media coverage here
May01
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